MOSCOW, Sept 26 Russia is ready to help guard
Syrian chemical weapons sites and destroy President Bashar
al-Assad's stockpiles but will not ship any of the chemical arms
to Russia for destruction, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei
Ryabkov said on Thursday.
Ryabkov was outlining some of the contributions Moscow is
willing to make to implement a U.S.-Russian deal that calls for
the destruction of Syria's chemical arsenal by the middle of
"We will be ready to help in guarding those facilities where
work is being carried out," the Interfax news agency quoted
Ryabkov as saying at an arms fair in the Ural Mountains city of
Russia and the United States are the only countries with
industrial scale capacity to handle mustard, VX, sarin or
cyanide-armed munitions, but the import of chemical weapons is
banned under U.S. law.
Ryabkov said Russia would not import chemical weapons
either, state-run RIA reported.
"There can be no doubt - we will not do this," RIA quoted
him as saying.
"We believe the destruction (of chemical weapons) on Syrian
territory is the best option," he was quoted as saying, adding
that the Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the export of
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed this month to the deal, under
which inspections of chemical weapons sites in Syria are to be
completed by Nov. 30 and its entire arsenal destroyed by June
Permanent U.N. Security Council members Russia, China, the
United States, Britain and France are trying to agree a
resolution that would support the deal for Syria to abandon its
chemical weapons and be acceptable to both Russia and the West.